Westpoint Tales

by Kiwi

Entangled Tales - 17 - Justin & Jonathan

Next morning the Reynolds went back to the hospital straight after breakfast. Kathleen was carrying a covered tray with a full breakfast for Jonathan.

They found a bemused looking Marcie Sheridan standing in the doorway looking at the two sleeping boys in the room. She looked around and said, "What on earth happened here? Has someone cloned Justin while I was sleeping?"

Kathleen looked in past her, smiling fondly at the sleepers. "That's Jonathan - Justin's identical twin brother. They were separated as babies and have never known each other. He saw Justin on the TV news the other day, jumped in a car and came here to find him - all the way from Otago. He arrived last night."

"Wow. That's great. I did hear, Lucas said that Justin had a twin. Two Justins eh? Are we ready for that? We might need a bigger hospital . . . yeah, okay - sorry, bad taste joke. But, still, two Justins!"

"No Marcie," said Bob. "One Justin plus one Jonathan. Similar - okay, identical, but not the same - two different boys. Justin and Jonathan."

Kathleen said, "I've got a tray here. I brought breakfast for Jonathan, but I don't like to wake him up now - poor wee lamb was exhausted last night."

"Give it to me. I'll take it to the kitchen, they'll keep it warm. There's no need for you to bring food in with you. We can feed Jonathan; his brother is the star guest in this place."

"Wait a minute," said Bob. "What about Justin? How is he today?"

"He's fine, Bob. Well 'stable' is the word - no change from yesterday, but no worse anyway."

The Reynolds sat out in the corridor, Marcie brought them a coffee, and they fended off questions from a reporter who wanted to talk about Justin's brother. "It's not up to us, it's not our story. You'll have to talk to Jonathan and he's not here right now."

They spent a couple of hours there, chatting to the various people passing through. Jonathan's arrival was reported on the local radio news. It wasn't the lead item, just a follow-up to the regular report on the boy-hero's condition - no change.

When Jonathan finally awoke it was nearly 10.00am., he came out rubbing his eyes and urgently requesting directions to the nearest bathroom. When he came back he was grinning.

"Man! That's better. I was bursting - too many vitamin drinks to keep me awake on the road yesterday. So, how's the grandparents this morning? Sleep well? I did, I slept like a log."

"The grandparents are fine, thank you, just fine. Are you hungry? We brought you a breakfast, but it's probably all dried up by now."

"Hungry? Hell yes! I could eat a cardboard box. I'm always hungry - growing boy and all that you know."

Kathleen took him away to the kitchen to see what they could salvage of his breakfast. They had been there a few minutes and Jonathan was sitting eating the cereal, when Bob came in and laid a school exercise book on the table in front of him.

"Hey. What's this? School books? I'm not doing school work here."

"It's not schoolwork, Lad. This is a book of Justin's - his notes about his condition, the Kajinski's Syndrome. I thought you might like to look through it."

"Yeah. Thanks Bob. That's cool - so long as it's not schoolwork. Pretty neat handwriting, eh? Doesn't this kid ever make a mistake?" He leafed through the pages filled with Justin's small, neat, handwriting.

"I'm sure he makes mistakes sometimes, everyone does. What's the old saying? "To err is human.""

"To err is human, but to really stuff things up takes a computer - is that the one you mean?"

"Something like that anyway. So, what do you think? Do you think you'll be able to make any sense out of all that?" His voice trailed away as he realised that the boy was no longer listening. He was engrossed in the book, scanning the pages and muttering to himself.  After several long minutes they left him there reading and went back to sit by Justin. He absently waved a hand as they left, eyes glued to the book.

An hour later he came running excitedly into Justin's room. "Eureka! I've got it! I've bloody got it!" He stopped and brushed Justin's face with his fingertips, "Hiya Handsome. You just keep hanging in there."

Then he turned to his grandparents and Dr. Miller who was standing over by the window. "I've got it. I can fix him - I think I can, I know I can! I need a computer - where's a computer? I've got to get on the net - I'm sure there's something. Where's a bloody computer?"

"There's a computer in the office," said Reuben Miller. "You can use that - come with me."

As he led him away, Reuben continued, "So you're the long-lost brother, eh? Jonathan, I'm Reuben Miller, Justin's doctor."

"I wasn't lost, Doc. I always knew where I was - Justin is the one who was lost, and now he's found. Hallelujah!"

Dr. Miller introduced him to the office staff and they let him loose on the computer. Then he returned to the Reynolds. "Well, he's different isn't he? Looks like Justin but that's a different boy altogether."

"He certainly is," said Bob. "Cocky little bugger, I think. He's no quiet and shy Justin that one. But we like him too."

Jonathan stayed on the computer, searching. At lunchtime he devoured the sandwiches that were brought to him but his eyes never left the screen. Occasionally he made notes in Justin's book. Claire and Carl, Lucas, Shelley and Dee all came over from the school to meet him, but he wasn't interested. "Yeah, yeah. Hello. Goodbye. Can't talk now - busy!" and he dismissed them with a wave of his hand.

"Well !" Dee snorted as they walked away. "The face is amazing, but Justin is much nicer. Poor old Justin."

Late in the afternoon the office ladies wanted to finish up for the day, so Bob took Jonathan back to the hotel to work on the computer there. He sat up at the computer in Justin's room, ate his evening meal there, and also took a shower while digesting what he'd read.

Later in the evening the murmur of conversations in the bar suddenly stopped. Bob looked up to see Jonathan walk in, still clutching the notebook. He perched up on a bar-stool and looked across at his grandfather. "He needs blood," he said, breaking the silence in the room. "He needs healthy, uncontaminated, compatible blood. That's simple enough - I can't believe he didn't see that. I've got plenty of that, he can have all of my blood that he needs. I'll need some other stuff too. Does the hospital have a laboratory? Chemical supplies and stuff?"

"A laboratory? No, it was closed years ago. The nearest one would be in Brownsville, but that's 100k's away, and there'll be no-one there now until the morning."

"Until the morning? That's no bloody good. What if he doesn't have until the morning? Justin's sitting on a knife-edge you know. One spasm and it'll be all over. How about a chemist? Is there a chemist shop in the town?"

"Yes, of course there is - Hayward's Pharmacy - but Don's probably home in bed by now."

"Well we'll just have to wake him up then, won't we? C'mon Gramps! My brother's dying while we're farting about here. We haven't got time to be nice."

Bob followed him out after asking one of his regular customers to take over and shut down the bar for the night. Jonathan was out the back, standing by his father's car. He waved Bob to the driver's seat. "You'll have to drive. I don't know where this Hayward guy lives. We'll get him and go and ransack his chemist's supplies. Then we'll go back to the hospital. There's a cell phone in here somewhere in all this mess. When you get a minute, while we're at the chemist's, ring the hospital and get someone there ready to take a bucket of blood off me. Preferably someone who knows what they're doing."

"Who said that you can wear the king's hat? Jonathan, a few pleases and thank-you's will get you a long way you know."

"Yeah – Yeah, I know. We haven't got time to be nice. I'll say all the thank-you's tomorrow. My brother's dying and I'm a bit distracted you know."

"I know, Boy. I know. But try to be nice to people if you want them to help."

"Nice? I'll be nice tomorrow. Right now, I'll stick a gun to their heads if I have to."

When he pulled up outside the Hayward's house, Bob said, "I think you'd better wait here. I'll go and get Don. By the way, have you let your family know that you've arrived safely?"

"Yeah. I e-mailed them this afternoon. I'm not completely heartless you know."

"I know, Boy. Wait here a minute." Bob went to the door and rang the bell. Don Hayward needed no persuading at all, he was happy to drop everything and come down to open his shop to them.

In no time at all they were in the back of the chemist's shop and Jonathan was busily measuring out chemicals and mixing solutions over the Bunsen burners. "You'd better keep a tally of what we're using here. Granddad"ll pay you later."

"There's no need for that, Jonathan. Take whatever you want; I don't want paying for it. Anything for Justin, anything at all. I've got kids at Westpoint High School too you know. If this works out, that's all the payment I need."

"It'll work. It'll work - it bloody better work."

Bob used the time while they were busy to ring the hospital and arrange for someone to be ready to draw blood off Jonathan when they got there. The three arrived back at the hospital and were met by Dr.Miller who had been called in.

"I don't know about this, Bob. It's all really unconventional."

Jonathan answered, "Doc., Justin's going to die if we don't do something. What have you got to lose?"

"Well . . . . all right. There's nothing to lose - come on then."

"That's better - I wouldn't want to have to stick a gun up your nose. If anything does go wrong, you can tell them that I forced you. Okay?"

He took the blood from Jonathan, then they went back to Justin's room. Jonathan sat on the floor and mixed the blood with a bottle of the solution that he'd brought in, then poured it all into an IV bladder.

"Okay Doc., all done. Just hook this up and let it run into his bloodstream will you?"

"I don't know. I really don't know. What if we kill him?"

"We won't. It'll work. Do it Doc, please. Or I will get a gun - and that's a promise."

He reconnected an IV already in place, and Jonathan's solution began running into the patient. They stood watching the flow for a few minutes, Dr.Miller anxiously watching the monitors. Then Jonathan produced a bottle containing another clear solution.

"We'll need a syringe. Start by injecting him with 50mils of this, then follow with another 20mils on the hour, every hour until the morning."

The doctor went and got several syringes. He came back, worrying, "I could get struck off for this."

"Or you could get struck down Doc. Which'd be worse?"

"Ah, well, we've started it now. Might as well see it through."

They all sat there through the night. Watching, waiting, and following the bossy boy's orders. There was no visible effect on Justin for a long time, but after the injection at 3.00am., his heartbeat began racing, his temperature increased rapidly and it looked like he was having a fit. But it stopped as soon as it had begun, and he continued sleeping quietly - normal apart from a rather high temperature.

Dr.Miller was looking worried, but Jonathan patted his shoulder, "It's okay Doc., just about what he expected. Don't worry - it'll fade."

By 7.00am all of his vital signs were reading normal - pulse, heart rate, and even the temperature. A bone-weary Dr.Miller took hold of Justin's arm as he prepared for yet another injection. He stopped short however, when a quiet voice said, "I do not think that will be necessary, Sir. I already have more holes in me than a pin-cushion."

"Justin!" He yelled, waking everybody there up. "Ohmigod! Justin! You're awake, great! How are you feeling now?"

"I feel fine, Doctor. I have never felt better." He opened his eyes and smiled up at him - healthy, clear, blue eyes with not a trace of blood in them.

Justin struggled to sit upright and, grinning widely, looked around at all the smiling faces surrounding him. "Can someone please get all these blasted tubes and things off me? Hello Grandfather, I'm back! Hello Grandmother, Doctor Miller, Mr. Hayward, Mrs.Sheridan . . .and . . .who the hell are you?"

"Justin! Oh, Justin my brother. It's me, Jonathan - your twin brother, Jonathan."

"Jonathan?" he whispered as he reached out a hand and touched his face. Jonathan took hold of it and pulled him over. They flung their arms around each other - both of them burst into tears, sobbing "Jonathan!" "Justin!" "My brother!" "My twin." " My Jonathan." "My Justin!"

When they eventually managed to separate the clinging, laughing, crying, emotional wrecks, Reuben and Marcie removed all the IV's, tubes and monitors, and patched him up. Dr.Miller gave him a quick check over and pronounced him to be, "As fit as a buck rat. I'll get Dr.Lyons to give you a full physical and tests today, then you should be able to go home. Take it quiet for a few days, drink lots of liquids and rest while your tissues repair themselves. Well done, Jonathan. I really did think that your brother was going to be leaving here in a box. Congratulations to the both of you - the research, the methods - it was thanks to both of you that it worked."

"Thank you Dr.Miller., everybody - thank you."

"Yeah, thanks Doc. - we couldn't have done it without you."

"Sure you could have. All I did was follow orders."

"But you did it so well, Doc."

"Yes, well. I'll go and see Dr.Lyons, and then I'm going home to my bed. I really hope you've all gone before I get back."

"Goodbye Doctor. Thank you again - I owe you a lot."

"You owe me nothing, Justin. Just put it against Dulcie's account, okay?"

As the Doctor left, Don Hayward said goodbye as well. Kathleen said, "Well boys, what happens now? What's next?"

"What happens now, my Grandmother, is a new life, a whole new life for all of us."

"Yeah, Gran, you ain't seen nothing yet."

The Reynolds returned to the Adelphi for some sleep, but Jonathan stayed with his brother. They both ate a hearty breakfast and spent the morning sitting together on the bed talking - catching up on all the missing years. However, Jonathan soon noticed that while he was trying to share all his life with his brother, Justin was very vague about his life before he came to Westpoint. Reporters came and interviewed them several times.

When Dr. Lyons came in to examine Justin, he found Jonathan sound asleep on the bed, so they left him there and went down to the surgery.

Later in the afternoon when Bob and Kathleen came back to collect the boys, they found Justin, fully dressed, sitting beside the bed looking at the sleeping Jonathan.

"Well this is a real turn around," said Bob smiling. "Come on, Jonathan, wake up boy - it's time to go home."

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